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Back to the Bench: Focusing on Flavorists’ Creativity

Contact Author John Houtenville; reported by Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
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This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.

Read more presentations and find photos of the event here.

While many flavor chemists focus on the “chemist” aspect of their profession, John Houtenville’s (Flavor Infusion) 2009 Flavor Symposium presentation focused on the “creative flavorist” facet of the industry. The flavorist’s job requires a litany of different knowledge bases, he said, from food and beverage science to the creative arts. “We need to spend time building,” he said, highlighting the importance of time spent at the creative bench. “That’s the exciting part of being a flavorist,” he said. It’s there where one’s skill and passion are recharged. To do so, Houtenville underscored the importance of creativity and discovery and the evaluation of raw materials.

“Flavor creation requires a knowledge base that is grounded in science and expertise and is readily available through our memory recall,” he said. In addition, he noted the importance of courage, intuition and instinct, and cited Albert Einstein’s famous dictum: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

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